Sunday, 4 October 2015

Art of the Cover - Joanna Newsom's "Divers" (2015)

This wonderful athmospheric piece of cover art was designed by artist Kim Keever.

Terrific work, KK!

Yes, dear brethren, it's Divers, the fourth studio album from juicy Joanna Newsom.

Divers drops October 23, 2015 via Drag City.

Speaking about the album's creative process in a recent interview,  juicy Jo said:
“I ... spent a year or two on the instrumental arrangements and overdubs. I wanted the character and colors of the instrumentation to shift definitively, from song to song, which entailed a wide pool of collaborators and a lengthy collaborative process with each person.” 
She further described the process of making the album as the most fun she's ever had while clothed .... sorry, actually "the most fun I’ve had making a record".

Entertainment Weekly also reported Newsom as using an "arsenal" of nearly a dozen nukes ... sorry.... a dozen keyboards and synths including clavichords, mellotrons and marxophones for the album.

Erm ... wait a minute ... what the fuck is a Marxophone? ... A commune-loving keyboard??

As if that the aforementioned "arsenal" ain't enough, the revered City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra also feature strongly on the album.

The resident bard at Drag City inscribed this onto a pice of vellum and dispatched it to the internet ....

Dive, listener, knowing that your next hour will be filled with diversions aplenty: a wheeling circuit of sci-fi sea-shanties and cavalier ballads, narrated from parts unknown; a family of polysemic song-sets; a paranomasaic Liederkreis of harmonic sympathies and knotted hierarchies; a fanfare of brazen puns and martial lullabies, blazing in sorrow and horseplay and love, in turns symphonic and spare, joined by Mellotrons and Marxophones and Moogs, clavichords and celestas and of course the harp, thrumming its threnodies of circadian invasions and avian irruptions and strange loops of Shepard-toned resonant-frequencies and something called goddamned Simulacreage.

The music of Divers is a wonder of considered arrangements a taut line, threaded with the pearls of passed and passing times...a round, a chant, an incantation...a ray of light diverted eleven ways, into eleven songs that striate, in chromatic collusion, their simultaneous arc...a span that takes in lifetimes, but is immaculately sequenced for telescoped brevity. The music speeds with dissociative dread over montaged cityscapes; it hoofs with delight among the collaged quotations and sepia-toned codices of Popular Song; it ambles its carefree citational course through the public domain and down into the dustier corners of municipal parks, to lionize infamous airmen and anonymous Dutch Masters, to mourn pearl divers and Poorwills, and to elegize the ineluctable tragedy of relativity a tragedy of parochial time, anecdotal time, dubious time.


1. "Anecdotes"   6:27
2. "Sapokanikan"   5:11
3. "Leaving the City"   3:48
4. "Goose Eggs"   5:01
5. "Waltz of the 101st Lightborne"   5:22
6. "The Things I Say"   2:35
7. "Divers"   7:07
8. "Same Old Man"   2:26
9. "You Will Not Take My Heart Alive"   4:01
10. "A Pin-Light Bent"   4:26
11. "Time, As a Symptom"   5:28

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